Nutrition Notes With Ilana Muhlstein—Six Calorie-Burning Superfoods
Posted: Friday, August 17, 2018 – 12:26 PM
There is no clear-cut definition of a “superfood,” but the idea is that there are a lot of nutritional benefits packed into certain foods. The fancy term you may hear is “nutrient density,” meaning there is a lot of nutrition densely packed into these foods. And so many foods you may already be eating like romaine lettuce, blueberries, and salmon could all be considered superfoods for this reason. And some superfoods may also have calorie burning effects, I’ve listed some of my favorites here.
Matcha and Green Tea
Green tea contains powerful antioxidants known as catechins, EGCG and polyphenols. These antioxidants are not only great for fighting free radicals and improving our overall health, but they’ve also been shown to help boost metabolism. Studies have found a connection between drinking several cups of green tea a day with an increased calorie burning potential of about 70-100 calories. The caffeine found in green tea can also contribute a temporary spike in your metabolism.
Whey protein, found in protein shake powders like Shakeolgoy, can be a powerful superfood for boosting metabolism. Protein requires extra energy to breakdown, causing your body to burn excess calories and jolt your fat burning potential. The lean protein can also stimulate our satiety hormones and contribute to feeling full and satisfied which can prevent overeating. Whey protein also contains leucine, an amino acid, that can help build muscle, which can improve our metabolic rate, aka speed in which we burn calories.
Chiles, jalapeños, cayenne, and other hot peppers
These spicy peppers are superfoods for many reasons. Firstly, they are rich in vitamin C which can help metabolize fat, and is also a precursor for carnitine, a molecule that boosts metabolism. These peppers also contain capsaicin, which gives these peppers their heat. The heat found in peppers can temporarily increase your heart rate and cause you to sweat, which as a result burns more calories and boosts your metabolism. And thankfully, the calorie burning effects may last beyond your meal so you can keep burning calories even longer.
Cruciferous veggies include a powerful list of vegetables in the cabbage family. This includes Brussels sprouts, broccoli, kale, cauliflower, bok choy, and of course, cabbage. These vegetables are very high in fiber, which can help absorb excess fat and calories and promote elimination. These vegetables also contain iron and calcium, which are both minerals and are essential for a healthy working metabolism.
Beans and Lentils
Beans and legumes, like lentils, are amazing for boosting metabolism. They are very rich in plant based protein and iron, both essential for maintaining a healthy metabolism. Additionally, beans and legumes are rich sources of resistant starch. This starch is harder for the body to break down, meaning that it helps keep us fuller longer, can lower our blood sugar response, and encourage our body to burn more calories to break it down. The high-fiber content can also help reduce fat storage in the body and improve elimination, which is very helpful for enhancing a positive metabolic system.
Flax seeds and chia seeds
Not only do these super seeds contain fat burning protein, but they are also rich in omega 3 fatty acids. These healthy fats have been shown to raise our fat burning enzymes and promote a greater weight loss.
Ilana Muhlstein, M.S., R.D. is a Registered Dietitian Nutritionist in Beverly Hills and mother of two. Muhlstein is not only a nutrition expert, but she, herself has lost 100 pounds and kept it off. She is the creator of the 2B Mindset weight loss program and sits on the Executive Leadership Team for the American Heart Association, Go Red for Women campaign.